This Mournable Body: Book summary and reviews of This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga

This Mournable Body

by Tsitsi Dangarembga

This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga X
This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2018
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A searing novel about the obstacles facing women in Zimbabwe, by one of the country's most notable authors.

Anxious about her prospects after leaving a stagnant job, Tambudzai finds herself living in a run-down youth hostel in downtown Harare. For reasons that include her grim financial prospects and her age, she moves to a widow's boarding house and eventually finds work as a biology teacher. But at every turn in her attempt to make a life for herself, she is faced with a fresh humiliation, until the painful contrast between the future she imagined and her daily reality ultimately drives her to a breaking point.

In This Mournable Body, Tsitsi Dangarembga returns to the protagonist of her acclaimed first novel, Nervous Conditions, to examine how the hope and potential of a young girl and a fledgling nation can sour over time and become a bitter and floundering struggle for survival. As a last resort, Tambudzai takes an ecotourism job that forces her to return to her parents' impoverished homestead. It is this homecoming, in Dangarembga's tense and psychologically charged novel, that culminates in an act of betrayal, revealing just how toxic the combination of colonialism and capitalism can be.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Heartbreaking and piercing. ... This is a smartly told novel of hard-earned bitterness and disillusionment." - Publishers Weekly

"A haunting, incisive, and timely glimpse into how misogyny and class strife shape life in post-colonial Zimbabwe." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Tsitsi Dangarembga

Tsitsi Dangarembga is the author of two previous novels, including Nervous Conditions, winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. She is also the director of the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa Trust. She lives in Harare, Zimbabwe.

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